A STAY of execution for its clubhouse has given the Mt Pleasant Bowling Club the opportunity to put together a rescue plan.
Melville council was set to relocate the club to a new sporting hub in Alfred Cove, with the old rinks and clubhouse being turned into a medium-density housing development.
But late last year Melville councillor Katy Mair got the council to put that on hold, while members investigated other ways to reinvigorate their club.
Cr Mair has been working with new president John O’Brien to put together a business plan they hope will turn the Bedford Road site in Ardross into a thriving community hub.
Mr O’Brien said the proposals were “very preliminary” and the detail was being kept under wraps for now, but the club is looking at sharing the site with the Tingara Netball Club and potentially opening a cafe.
Mr O’Brien said demolishing the existing clubrooms and rebuilding a purpose-built centre capable of hosting functions was also in the mix.
There will also be a focus on social activities, while a sump on the property could still be turned into a pocket park. He said the club had been at “death’s door” when he took over, with uncertainty over its future causing an exodus of members; it even lost its A-grade pennants team.
But he’s already been able to boost membership from that low of 150 to about 230, and reckons if they can get to 450 the club will become financially sustainable. He said Tingara were very keen to move in, as they currently trained on courts at a primary school but had no clubhouse facilities.
Cr Mair said with the increased density planned around Garden City, green spaces like the club needed to be preserved, not developed.
The council is likely to decide in March or April on whether it can call a halt to the move and implement the rescue package.
by STEVE GRANT